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Nov 19, 2013 10:57 AM

noodle bar or Ssam for lunch with 2 kids

I'll be in visiting in december with 2 kids, 3 & 6. I was hoping to do lunch or dinner at either Momofuku noodle bar or Ssam. Is it appropriate and if yes, which is better? Also, the duck meal - does it feed the higher end of 6 or the lower end of 3.

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  1. either place would be fine for lunch with 2 kids... for an early dinner with 2 kids i'd choose noodle over ssam...i haven't done the duck meal but it looks like it would feed the lower end of 3.

    1. Either one for lunch, review their menus to see if one has more options your kids will like vs the other. For dinner i prefer ssam bar, and with kids i would suggest you go on the early side (close to six) to avoid a wait
      Be sure to check out milk bar- the kids will most likely enjoy cereal milk soft serve or a birthday cake truffle....

      1. Two of my favorite places to eat, but I wouldn't call either of them "kid friendly". I'd go for lunch at Saam because it's less crowded and it's quieter. Unless you prefer not to hear your children, of course.

        1. I ABSOLUTELY think both places are inappropriate for the ages of your kids. The food profiles are just too grownup for child's palates/digestive tracks. Something like Shake Shack more suitable imho.

          6 Replies
          1. re: UES Mayor

            My children have eaten many things that are on the menu at either places. I have actually cooked many recipes from the Momofuku cookbook for both of them. Picky eaters are created because adults assume a child will not like something. Let them try things and decide for themselves whether or not they like something!

            I should have clarified in my question that I was asking if the atmosphere would be appropriate for my children and not if the food was appropriate.

            1. re: bumble

              I'm confused by your post. It sounds like you have taken the kids as you say that they have eaten many things from the menu. Or are you saying that you have prepared things from the cookbook that they have had? I think there are many things kids would love to eat.

              However, I wouldn't think they are comfortable places for small kids. We've taken our kids to places all over the city when they were little, but I don't think of Momofuku as a place for kids. You sit on stools with no backs, even at a high table. I would never want to put a 3 year old at the high table at Ssam Bar. I would always be afraid what would happen if one of the kids slipped and fell. I've never seen a high chair in there so I don't even know if its an option. At dinner time its crowded and the music is pumping so I don't think its a good place for small kids. The tables are small and the seating is tight. Maybe lunch might work when its quieter but I would avoid dinner. Even more so since you can't make a reservation and I would hate having to wait an hour with two kids for a table. But you're asking about the duck dinner so I guess you could reserve that. Way too much food for two adults and two small kids IMO.

              I much prefer Ssam Bar to Noodle. One of my son's favorite places too, but he's a teen.

              If you want to try ramen, I would suggest Ippudo. That could work better with kids at lunch time.

              1. re: Bkeats

                sorry, I meant to say I've cooked many things from the cookbook. I was quite annoyed by UES Mayor's post about what is appropriate for a child's palate and digestive tract that I wasn't as coherent as I could have been.

                I agree that sitting on a stool is not great for a 3year old. The duck dinner was a way for us to reserve a time for a meal, but I don't want to be wasteful if it's too much for food 2 adults and two small kids. thanks for your feedback.

                1. re: bumble

                  I went with a large crowd to Ssam that included my niece, who was 4 at the time. She was fine but there's not a lot of tolerance for kids running around. That's what I meant by "not kid friendly." But my parents took me to lots of places that weren't "kid friendly" and I'm better for it. The staff is professional, friendly, and very nice, but don't expect a high chair, it ain't Veselka, thank god.

            2. re: UES Mayor

              I don't know if it's necessarily the food that's inappropriate as much as it is the restaurant. If I were sitting at the long communal bars at either restaurant and were seated next to children, I'd be rather uncomfortable and annoyed. Get a sitter for the afternoon and enjoy your lunch.

              1. re: UES Mayor

                I seriously disagree. Ham? Savory crispy brussels sprouts? Pork buns? What's not to love, kid or comfort seeking adult?
                I way prefer Ssam over noodle bar, and think they have the same structural challenges--high bar stools or backless stools at the tables. That being said, if you go at quieter times, and can get a table, you should have no problem.

              2. I'd say Ssam. I have seen families with small children there but never at the high stools at the communal counter. I don't think they would purposefully seat a small child there. Only at the lower tables (esp the 3 and 4 top tables) have I seen kids. I am actually really struggling to remember kids at any of the communal tables... I think the staff realize that it's best families have their own table. A few times I've also seen a stroller parked way in back by the kitchen.